BSkyB completes buyout of Open

BT to receive satcaster shares in 2 chunks

LONDON — BSkyB has completed its acquisition of TV e-commerce platform Open by buying British Telecom’s stake in the company for £387 million ($553 million) in shares.

BT is trading its 20% of Open for a three-part payment from BSkyB over two years.

The telco will receive 19.1 million BSkyB shares, valued at around $206 million, in the next 45 days. A second payment worth $168 million will be made 18 months later, with the final installment skedded for 2003, depending on Open’s performance.

The move, which gives BSkyB ownership of Open, is part of a deal agreed to last July.

BSkyB plans to fold Open into its new media division and will use it to integrate interactive services like shopping and gambling into its programming output.

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